Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Rear view of Babraham Hall

Apply Directly

Applications are made initially to the Babraham Institute, typically between October and December each year. Although we frequently have additional PhD positions which are advertised separately in the press, and on our website, between January and June each year.  Most of the potential PhD projects eligible for studentship funding are advertised on our website and on in the autumn. Applicants are encouraged to contact possible supervisors to discuss research projects informally.


Your application

Formal applications should consist of a full Curriculum Vitae with a covering letter indicating the two projects in which they are most interested (from the list on our PhD Opportunities page), in order of preference. Applicants should also ask two referees to write to the Institute on their behalf before the deadline.

Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an interview and reasonable travel expenses will also be paid to those invited. See checklist opposite for the information required to be provided in your application before it can be considered. 

Once awarded a PhD position at the Babraham Institute, successful applicants will then be required to apply for admission to the University of Cambridge. Students will not be able to take up the award unless they meet all University eligibility criteria and are successful in securing admission to the University. In addition, they will not be able to apply for a visa (if needed) until they hold an unconditional offer from the University.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Required information

  • Full Curriculum Vitae including
    • Nationality and Residence in UK information
    • Details of Schooling including GCSE and A Level results (or other qualifications)
    • Details of University Education including courses taken and results of any examinations to date
    • Degree result (if already known)
    • Details of any lab based projects or laboratory placements
    • Details of any industrial placements
    • Details of any previous employment
  • Covering Letter giving the details of the two projects in which you are most interested and your reasons for choosing them. These projects should be chosen from different Group Leaders.
  • The names and contact information of the two referees you have asked to write to the Institute supporting your application for a PhD position 
  • Your contact details between 2nd and 17th January 2018
  • Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

General advice

It is essential that such Other EU Nationals and Overseas applicants should initially contact one of our Babraham Institute Group Leaders (see in whose laboratory they wish to carry out their PhD studies, as early as possible, and BEFORE applying for funding.

This will allow the Group Leader to determine if they have any PhD positions available in their research group at the appropriate time and to determine if they are prepared to make a case to the Babraham Institute Graduate Committee to sponsor funding applications for them to University of Cambridge funds via the University Graduate Application Form (GRADSAF) e.g. Gates Cambridge Trusts, Cambridge Overseas and Commonwealth Trusts, Cambridge International Studentship Scheme etc. or to national funding schemes from their own country.

Such applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. These awards are highly competitive, with many more applicants than there are awards available. You should, therefore investigate all other potential sources of funding.


EU nationals should check their eligibility for funding for Research Council Studentships (link). The University of Cambridge and the Babraham Institute require evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself over the whole three year course.

Competition for admission to the Babraham Institute and University of Cambridge graduate programmes is intense. Like all departments in the Graduate School, we require all our graduate entrants to have:
  • At least a 2.1 in an Honours degree or equivalent (e.g CGPA 3.5/4.0) in a relevant subject

  • Two outstanding references from Senior University staff at your most recent University

  • Fluency in the English language – recent IELTS test with an overall band score of at least 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading.

​For more details of the University’s academic requirements see the University’s Graduate Prospectus: